1. Held up at knife point in Quito on the way to the bus station to Montañita. TERRIFYING. Only pat's phone got stolen b/c a car came up and started honking. Needless to say never again will we choose to walk two blocks rather than taxi. never again.
2. After 9 hour bus ride to Guayaquil and 3 hour bus ride from Guayaquil to Montañita we arrive move into our sweet hostel, the only downfall of which was the rank raw sewage smell suffocating all those on or around the first floor. (luckily our room was upstairs and since we reserved rooms in advance we got the best one with our own private bathroom that functioned normally for at least the first 48 hours of our trip).
3. SURF LESSON: if you do not have much balance on land, you probably have less in water. If you can't swim, you will probably swallow gallons of salt water. Also, who even knew that surfing required SO MUCH ARM STRENGTH. Despite all of these unknown facts that would have been nice to know in advance, we attempted and even succeeded at one or two surfing attempts. Not without significant war wounds, including bruises, cuts, Kelsey's minor concussion after being smacked in the head with her board, and a blow to our pride after an hour and a half of failed attempts.
4. There is nothing more delicious than a fresh fruit smoothie made for you by a street vendor after 3 hours of sleep.
5. THe party never stopped. It would start around 8pm and we would stumble in between 3 and 5am, but couldn't sleep because it literally NEVER STOPPED. It was so loud outside! Complete with beach front clubs, lots of bonfires, delicious beverage and food stands lining the streets and non stop music and dancing. There were hundreds of people filling the streets where dreadlock-headed hippies would play the bongos and their female counterparts would do ribbon dancing to the tropical beats. Once or twice the power went out, and the entire town that had been pumping to various reggaeton tunes would be enveloped in darkness and silenced for a split second and then erupt into screams as we were doused in water and carnaval espuma in the dark!
5. a) a quick note about the food stands. They all sold this DELICOUS grilled choclo (corn on the cob) smothered in some type of mystery sauce and cheese and it was sooooo good. I ate alot of it.
6. And we were constantly covered in sand. I will tell you, my anal organizational tendencies received a smack in the face by montañita's lifestyle choices. Constant sand in my bed, constant muddy sand all over our bathroom, periodic water shortages which prevented showering, etc. (Of course, kelsey found all the cleaning supplies within the first day and we would sneak them out of the janitors closet to clean our room when no one was around.)
7. We celebrated kelsey's bday at Isla de la plata (a.k.a. 'poor man's galapagos'), a short day trip from montañita. We endured an unbelievably challenging hike in sweltering heat where we saw like 3 blue footed boobies and my ears burned and blistered like i've never seen. We also went snorkeling in some of the bluest water in Ecuador which was pretty awesome.
8. After 5 days of this craziness and a total of about 15 hours of sleep in all that time we made our way back to Lumbisi safe and sound, though not without various bumps in the road such as booking a direct bus that stopped every 10 minutes, and realizing that all transport out of montañita was completely full.
Either way, it was sooooo good to be at the beach for 5 days and I just wanna go back!